The visit of the Russian delegation to Algeria

comes to an end

From January 29 to February 1, the Russian delegation visited Algeria as part of the trip organized by the Primakov Center. During these four days, experts from the Center and Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IOS RAS), Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), as well as MGIMO Institute for International Studies (MGIMO IIS) visited a number of top educational, scientific and research institutions of the Algerian capital.
The first working day started with the delegation’s visit to the Russian Embassy in Algeria, where the researchers met Ambassador Valerian Shuvaev. They talked to the diplomat on a wide range of topics starting from Algeria’s foreign policy and ending with the role of the great powers in the region. The Russian Ambassador paid special attention to the fact that studying in Russia is popular among young Algerians and the need to develop a professional dialog between the research communities of our countries.
The two days that followed saw working meetings between the members of the Russian delegation and representatives of local academic institutions. First, our experts visited the National Institute of Strategic Global Studies (INESG), which is a research center that focuses on drafting analytical materials commissioned by the Government. After the Russian researchers met the director of the institute, they took part in a roundtable discussion on international security issues in North Africa.

The attendees touched on the challenges faced by the Maghreb countries, the role of the major powers in these region, as well as opportunities to enhance cooperation between Russia and Algeria. The experts agreed on the fact that the importance of North Africa in the global arena is on the increase against the backdrop of the changing world order. It means that the security issues in the region require the increasing attention as well.
I believe that our Algerian counterparts and us share a similar point of view on many issues. These include the vision of the new world order, countering neo-colonialism, and resolving local and regional conflicts. At the same time, there are issues that require additional dialogue and discussion. First of all, this is the Sahara-Sahel zone and tackling the situation in Libya. In general, the level of Algerian specialists leaves a strong impression. They have a brilliant knowledge of Russia, the legal framework of our foreign policy, and the relevant national historiography.
Vasily Kuznetsov, Deputy Director of the IOS RAS, Head of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, IOS RAS
The Russian delegation then went to the Algerian Agency on International Cooperation For Solidarity and Development (AACISD) that deals with promoting international development on the African continent. Representatives of the agency spoke about the mission of the organisation, its main areas of work, and the projects being implemented in Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Kenya and Nigeria. The parties specifically discussed opportunities for cooperation between Russia and Algeria to resolve humanitarian problems in other countries.
The Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations (IDRI) was the third venue visited by our experts during the trip. While at the university, the experts there took part in a discussion on the prospects for the development of Russian-Algerian relations. According to Algerian professors, strengthening cooperation between our countries is becoming a necessity given the new foreign policy configuration that is taking shape in the international arena.

The parties expressed concern about the imbalance inherent to Russian-Algerian cooperation, which is largely focused on the military sector, as well as emphasized the need to galvanize the track two diplomacy. At the end of the roundtable discussion, the Russian side suggested its counterparts preparing a joint report outlining the proposals of both countries on the development of bilateral relations.
Representatives of academic communities of large states usually spend a lot of time studying their states' adversaries and less time studying their allies. At the same time, sufficient understanding of the latter, their society and political structure, the driving forces of foreign policy, and the degree of their willingness to cooperate, is an important criterion for a state to maintain its own influence in the world and protect its interests in certain regions.

Algeria is one of Russia’s key international partners. The first meeting between Russian researchers and the policy-shaping groups of this state and its expert and academic community is an extremely valuable job-related experience. Such initiatives of the Primakov Center are a tool for Russian scholars in international relations to learn about the way their foreign colleagues think, a way of communication between professional communities, both Russian and international at that. And finally, it is an opportunity to strengthen interstate relations at the most important level, the level of personal contacts it is. The Algerian partners' keen interest in the Russian delegation during the visit is vivid proof of this.
Maxim Suchkov, Ph.D. in Political Science, Director of the MGIMO Institute for International Studies (IIS)
A visit to the third university in Algeria called National Higher School of Political Sciences (ENSSP) was the final part of the working programme. This time, our experts together with their Algerian counterparts, discussed Africa’s place in the new world order, as well as the challenges that the region is facing today. When analyzing the regional situation, the roundtable participants noted that one of the main threats came from the Sahel zone, and here Algeria and Russia have divergent positions.

After the discussion, the Russian researchers were given a tour of the institute.